TMJ disorders cause pain in your jaw joint and muscles. The disorders are caused by trauma to the temporomandibular joint or jaw. Sometimes the exact cause is usually not known. There are many symptoms including pain that are linked to the disorders. For most people, the complications may go away. But if symptoms persist, seeking treatment is advisable. Here are some treatments you should consider.
Conservative treatments are recommended because they do not involve surgery or invade the tissues of the face, jaw, or joint. These choices are often used because the most common jaw joint and muscle complications can be treated with simple measures. These options provide temporary relief of pain and are not cures for the disorders. If the symptoms continue for an extended period or worsen, a person should contact a dentist.
People can treat the symptoms of TMJ disorders at home. There are many self-care practices that ease symptoms. The practices reduce pain, improve function, and promote healing. A person may find relief with one or several of them.
Ice packs can numb pain and aid in healing. A person should not place an ice pack directly on the skin. It should be wrapped in a cloth while it is being used. Moist heat from a heat pack can reduce pain and improve function. Relaxation techniques are also helpful for dealing with pain. These methods reduce stress and aid in relaxation.
Gentle jaw exercises can increase the jaw movement. Dentists should suggest the right exercises for patients. Eating soft foods is also encouraged because it would allow the jaw to rest. People should avoid hard foods.
A dentist may recommend an oral appliance, also known as a bite guard or stabilization splint. It is a plastic guard, which fits over the lower or upper teeth. It is commonly used to treat TMJ disorders. It reduces grinding and clenching and eases muscle tension. The splint should only be used for a short time. It should not affect the bite or cause or increase pain. If a person experiences any of these, the individual should stop using it and see a dentist.
Medications can control pain. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, reduce and manage pain and swelling. Most can be purchased over-the-counter at pharmacies. Sometimes the pain goes away after using these medications. When necessary, a dentist can prescribe stronger muscle relaxants, antidepressants, or pain or anti-inflammatory medications to help with the symptoms.
Tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline are mostly used for depression. But in low doses, they provide pain relief and bruxism control. Muscle relaxants relieve pain created by muscle spasms. If a dentist prescribed medication, the patient should follow the instructions. A patient should work closely with the dentist.
There are many TMJ treatment options. Conservative treatments are good choices because they are simple and provide relief. Self-care practices, stabilization splints, and medications are all effective in treating TMJ disorders. Finding the right care can be difficult. Fortunately, your dentist can help you find the treatment that might work for you.
Request an appointment here: https://hanfordcosmeticdentist.com or call Rushi Panchal DDS at (559) 426-1124 for an appointment in our Hanford office.